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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya launches initiative to support energy loss reduction       

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s electricity distributor on Friday launched an energy loss reduction initiative in partnership with International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Kenya Power Managing Director Ken Tarus said the aim of the initiative is to reduce technical and commercial losses in the utility’s network.

“To help us achieve our single digit target, we have contracted the IFC’s Energy & Water Advisory to implement loss reduction initiatives. These initiatives include support for both technical and commercial loss reduction, training, and management support,” Tarus said.

He said in a statement issued in Nairobi that the reduction in energy losses is critical to the company as it translates into increased revenue hence improved profitability.

“Kenya Power’s energy loss for the financial year ended June 2016 stood at 18.8 percent. Though it is an improvement from the 19.4 percent the previous financial year, we are yet to reach our target of single digit losses,” Tarus added.

The advisory service contract is a two-year assignment at a projected cost of 800,000 U.S. dollars with IFC and Kenya Power each financing 50 percent of the budget.

The Kenya Power financing component is linked to deliverables over the two-year duration of the project.

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EARLIER REPORT:

Kenya launches program to eliminate trachoma disease

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s health ministry on Friday launched a 1 million U.S. dollar program that is aimed at eliminating trachoma from the country.

Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu said 14,579 people who are affected by the disease will have their eyes operated under the program.

“We had conducted eye surgeries to 41,501 people who had sight-threatening trachoma complications in the past 10 years,” Mailu said during the launch of the program in Nairobi.

Trachoma is a infectious disease and one of the leading causes of blindness in Kenya among people living in harsh and hard to reach areas due to limited availability of water and poor sanitation.

Active trachoma prevalence in Kajiado County in southwest Kenya alone stood at 28.1 percent, far above the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended threshold of 10 percent.

“We engaged in a coordinated intensive intervention that involved surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness and environmental improvement (SAFE),” Mailu said.

He said there has been a significant drop in active trachoma that “shows that Kenya is on the path to eliminating trachoma.”

According to a 2004 study, trachoma is a major problem inflicting arid parts of the country.

Some regions, like Samburu in northwestern Kenya, have a prevalence of 35 percent for active trachoma and 6 percent for blinding trachoma. Nationwide, the rates are 10 percent and 1 percent respectively.

           

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